In entering the Shire Hall, I looked around to see a large group of around a hundred professionals sat listening to the first presentation led by Director of Corporate Resources, and I felt instantly out of my depth! I wandered if my presence, and my upcoming speech, was totally out of place and would fall on dead ears. However, as the meeting progressed to the presentation before mine, led by Pete Wiggins on ‘Responding to Climate Change’ I could feel my nerves settle as I could sense the engagement from the audience, and I reminded myself of the importance and privilege to be able to represent a youth’s perspective on the climate emergency at such a crucial time.
However daunting it was, delivering the speech was empowering, and I tried my best to deliver the passion of the youth on the climate action that is needed, although I was not sure of what the response would be from the other attendees.
When the speech came to an end, I received a huge round of applause, a big hug from one of the organisers, followed by another round of applause! It felt amazing to know that our message had really been listened to, and that the youth can have our say, and do our bit to make a difference. It led to the opportunity to network further, sharing emails with several members of the council as well as taking photos for the Gloucestershire County Council’s social media, and already there has been mentions of requests to deliver the speech again. I feel inspired by the positive response, and will encourage any other person, no matter what age, to grasp the opportunity to speak up and act out, in any way, big or small, for what they believe in.